5 Best Cheap Stocks To Watch For 2014

Even given the lackluster sales of its Surface tablet, Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT  ) just had a great first quarter. Revenue is up, margins are solid, and the company is sitting on a gigantic stack of cash.

The reasons for Microsoft’s continued growth aren’t as glamorous as a heavily publicized tablet, but they could help keep the company afloat while it works on reaching the top of the tech industry once again. In the video below, Fool contributor Caroline Bennett takes a closer look at Microsoft’s successful quarter.

It’s been a frustrating path for Microsoft investors, who’ve watched the company fail to capitalize on the incredible growth in mobile over the past decade. However, with the release of the widely anticipated Windows 8 operating system, the company is looking to make a splash in this booming market. In this brand-new premium report on Microsoft, our analyst explains that while the opportunity is huge, the challenges are many. He’s also providing regular updates as key events occur, so make sure to claim a copy of this report now by clicking here.

5 Best Cheap Stocks To Watch For 2014: Express-1 Expedited Solutions Inc.(XPO)

XPO Logistics, Inc. provides third-party logistics services using a network of relationships with ground, sea, and air carriers in the United States, Mexico, and Canada. It operates in three segments: Express-1, Concert Group Logistics, and Bounce Logistics. The Express-1 segment offers ground expedited surface transportation services for freight. It operates a fleet ranging from cargo vans to semi tractor trailer units. The Concert Group Logistics segment provides domestic and international freight forwarding services through a network of independently owned stations. Its domestic freight forwarding services include air charter, expedites, and time sensitive services, as well as cost sensitive services comprising deferred delivery, less than truckload, and full truck load services; and international freight forwarding services consist of on-board courier and air charters, time sensitive services, less-than-container and full-container-loads, and vessel charters. This segm ent also offers documentation on international shipments, customs clearance and banking, trade show shipment management, time definite and customized product distributions, reverse logistics and on site asset recovery projects, installation coordination, freight optimization, and diversity compliance support services. The Bounce Logistics segment provides premium freight brokerage services for truckload shipments. The company serves approximately 4,000 retail, commercial, manufacturing, and industrial customers through 6 U.S. operations centers and 22 agent locations. It offers its services to the automotive manufacturing, automotive components and supplies, commercial printing, durable goods manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, food and consumer products, and high tech sectors. The company was formerly known as Express-1 Expedited Solutions, Inc. and changed its name to XPO Logistics, Inc. in September 2011. XPO Logistics, Inc. was founded in 1989 and is based in Buchanan, Mich i gan.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Jake L’Ecuyer]

    XPO Logistics (NYSE: XPO) shot up 7.06 percent to $30.01 after the company announced its plans to acquire Pacer International (NASDAQ: PACR) in a deal valued at $335 million.

  • [By Travis Hoium]

    What: Shares of XPO Logistics (NYSE: XPO  ) jumped 13% today after announcing an acquisition.

    So what: The company will pay $365 million for logistics provider 3PD, consisting of $357 million in cash an $8 million in XPO restricted stock. Is will use its own cash and borrow $195 million from Credit Suisse Group for the remainder of the purchase.  

5 Best Cheap Stocks To Watch For 2014: Whole Foods Market Inc.(WFM)

Whole Foods Market, Inc. engages in the ownership and operation of natural and organic food supermarkets. The company offers produce, seafood, grocery, meat and poultry, bakery, prepared foods and catering, coffee and tea, nutritional supplements, and vitamins. It also provides specialty products, such as beer, wine, and cheese; body care and educational products, such as books; and floral, pet, and household products. As of February 9, 2011, the company operated 302 stores in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Whole Foods Market, Inc. was founded in 1978 and is headquartered in Austin, Texas.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Charles Sizemore]

    Outside of premium or specialty grocers — think Whole Foods (WFM) or Trader Joe’s — growth in grocery sales is essentially limited to population growth, which has averaged less than 1% for the past decade. All jokes about Americans getting fatter aside, we’re really not eating more, and the grocery business is something of a zero-sum game for existing competitors. Again, outside of specialty or premium stores, new grocery store construction is mostly limited to new neighborhood construction.

  • [By Patricio Kehoe] ls operate roughly 150 stores each and handle an average of 10,000 stock- keeping units against 20,000 at Whole Foods.

    Sourcing

    In order to maximize volume discount, Whole Foods purchases at regional or national scales. While many of its perishable products are obtained from local producers, almost a third of the company’s purchases are sourced from United Natural Foods Inc. (UNFI). Their distribution agreement, valid through 2020, stipulates that UNFI will be the company’s main provider of frozen foods and groceries. However, the company seeks to diversify its supplier base by sourcing form local farmers who are eager to suit its high-quality food production standards.

    Growth Drivers

    The company’s successful mix of effective inventory management and strict cost-control measures adds to a revamp of its pricing strategy and a greater focus on value offerings. Hence, Whole Foods has delivered healthy gross margins in the range of 34.8% to 35.5% over the last three years.

    Furthermore, the company continues to open new stores and to integrate regional acquisitions. It opened 32 new locations in 2013 and expects to reach the count of 500 by 2017. As store volume augments, the firm benefits from both lower per unit costs and sales increases. Its comps, in turn, also help bolster margins, since they continue to follow an upward trend. Moving forward, Whole Foods expects an escalation of 11% to 12% in total sales for 2014.

    Sturdy Growth Profile

    Whole Foods’ strong brand image, high-quality products and marketing expertise have earned the firm one of the strongest growth profiles in the industry. Its stock trades at 35.80 its trailing earnings, a premium compared to its peers’ average of 19.10. Its earnings per share growth, however, showcases an impressive 27.20% against the industry median of 5.10%, which will lead to more attractive multiples. Further, the stock delivered a healthy return on equity of 14.20% compa

  • [By Bloomberg Businessweek]

    Shutterstock/Aleph Studio An environmental group made waves this week with word that Kroger (KR) and Safeway (SWY), the second- and fourth-largest U.S. grocery chains, respectively, had agreed not to sell genetically engineered salmon. These futuristic fish aren’t yet commercially available. Maybe that’s why the task of heralding the news was left to Friends of the Earth. The list of retailers that won’t touch modified salmon now includes big names such as Target (TGT), H-E-B, Whole Foods (WFM) and Trader Joe’s. But what about Walmart (WMT)? The chain, which accounts for 15 percent of fresh food sales in the U.S, isn’t saying.

  • [By Traders Reserve]

    Shares of Whole Foods (WFM) were dumped en masse after earnings were released recently. The stock had no chance, being priced for perfection in an environment that was far from perfect.

5 Best Cheap Stocks To Watch For 2014: Ur Energy Inc(URG)

Ur-Energy Inc., an exploration stage junior mining company, engages in the identification, acquisition, evaluation, exploration, and development of uranium mineral properties. The company has 13 projects located in Wyoming and Nebraska, the United States; and 3 exploration projects located in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut, Canada. Its landholdings cover approximately 90,000 acres in the United States and approximately 140,000 acres in Canada. The company was founded in 2004 and is headquartered in Littleton, Colorado.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Bryan Murphy]

    If you listened to my bullish calls from December 27th and/or February 24th about Uranerz Energy Corp. (NYSEMKT:URZ), Uranium Resources, Inc. (NASDAQ:URRE), and Ur-Energy Inc. (NYSEMKT:URG), then congratulations – you’re now up as much as 50%, depending on when you stepped into a trade, and which stock you chose. Now get out. See, as well as URZ and URG have done and are doing (URRE not so much), it looks like the short-term rally I first spotted a little more than a couple of months ago has fully run its course, and now these names are setting up a pullback.

  • [By James E. Brumley]

    Well, I’ll give myself an A for effort, but a C- for timing. But, I can bump that C- up to a B+ if my intuition is right as we head into the last few days of 2013 and the first few of 2014. What I’m talking about is a bullish commentary I penned back on November 26th regarding Uranerz Energy Corp. (NYSEMKT:URZ), Uranium Resources, Inc. (NASDAQ:URRE), and Ur-Energy Inc. (NYSEMKT:URG). All three stocks were perking up, and more than that, the buzz surrounding URG, URRE, and URZ was getting louder. More often than not, when the fervor and bullish action and chatter reaches the levels they had reached a month ago, an explosion is right around the corner.

5 Best Cheap Stocks To Watch For 2014: Freeport-McMoran Copper & Gold Inc.(FCX)

Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. engages in the exploration, mining, and production of mineral resources. The company primarily explores for copper, gold, molybdenum, silver, and cobalt. It holds interests in various properties, located in North and South America; the Grasberg minerals district in Indonesia; and the Tenke Fungurume minerals district in the Democratic Republic of Congo. As of December 31, 2010, the company?s consolidated recoverable proven and probable reserves totaled 120.5 billion pounds of copper, 35.5 million ounces of gold, 3.39 billion pounds of molybdenum, 325.0 million ounces of silver, and 0.75 billion pounds of cobalt. The company was founded in 1987 and is headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Pick a mining stock, any mining stock, and there’s a very good chance that its future earnings are highly dependent on commodity prices. Rio Tinto (RIO) and Vale (VALE)? That’s iron ore. Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold (FCX)? That’s copper. Alcoa (AA)? That’s aluminum.

  • [By Paul Ausick]

    The sales big spender was Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. (NYSE: FCX) which posted 16 high bids, totaling just over $321 million. Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) offered six high bids, totaling $106 million, followed by Murphy Oil Corp. (NYSE: MUR) with 16 high bids, totaling nearly $50 million, and Royal Dutch Shell PLC (NYSE: RDS-A) with four high bids, totaling more than $45 million.

  • [By Laura Brodbeck]

    Stocks moving in the Premarket included:

    Walgreen Co. (NYSE: WAG) gained 0.60 percent in premarket trade after losing 2.86 percent over the past week. Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) was up 0.56 percent in premarket trade after falling 1.12 percent on Tuesday. Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc (NYSE: FCX) lost 1.01 percent in premarket trade after falling 9.44 percent over the past five days. Motorola Solutions Inc (NYSE: MSI) was down 0.85 percent in premarket trade after losing 0.53 percent on Tuesday.

    Earnings

  • [By Paul Ausick]

    The country’s two largest copper miners, Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. (NYSE: FCX) and Newmont Mining Corp. (NYSE: NEM) have refused to pay the new tax claiming that it violates their existing contracts. The government backed off a bit last week, saying that it would “consider reducing the duty for miners who are ‘serious’ about smelting their mineral concentrates in the country before shipping the metals to buyers abroad,” according to report in The Wall Street Journal.

5 Best Cheap Stocks To Watch For 2014: Sirius XM Radio Inc.(SIRI)

Sirius XM Radio Inc. provides satellite radio services in the United States and Canada. It broadcasts a programming lineup of approximately 135 channels of commercial-free music, sports, news and information, talk and entertainment, traffic, and weather on subscription fee basis through two satellite radio systems in the United States; and holds an interest in the satellite radio services offered in Canada. The company also simulcasts music and selected non-music channels over the Internet; and offers applications to allow consumers to access its Internet services on mobile devices. As of December 31, 2010, it had 20,190,964 subscribers. In addition, the company designs, establishes specifications, sources or specifies parts and components, and manages various aspects of the logistics and production of satellite radios; licenses its technology to various electronics manufacturers to develop, manufacture, and distribute radios under various brands; and imports radios distri buted through its Websites. The company?s satellite radios are primarily distributed through automakers, retailers, and its Websites. Further, it provides music services for commercial establishments; a satellite television service to offer music channels as part of certain programming packages on the DISH Network satellite television service; music and comedy channels to mobile phone users through mobile phone carriers; Backseat TV, a service offering television content designed primarily for children in the backseat of vehicles; Travel Link, a suite of data services that include graphical weather, fuel prices, sports schedules and scores, and movie listings; and real-time traffic and weather services. The company was formerly known as Sirius Satellite Radio Inc. and changed its name to Sirius XM Radio Inc. in August 2008. Sirius XM Radio Inc. was founded in 1990 and is headquartered in New York, New York.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Rick Aristotle Munarriz]

    Netflix/Kevin E. Bell Kevin Spacey in “House of Cards.” Now that Amazon (AMZN) is making its Prime service more expensive, it probably won’t be long before Netflix (NFLX) follows. Both Internet darlings announced during their most recent earnings conference calls that they were exploring rate increases to help offset rising expenses. “It’s not clear that one price fits all,” CEO Reed Hastings said back in January during Netflix’s earnings call. “We’re trying to figure out some models of good, better, best price tiering that makes sense and provide some flexibility for our customers, at least for our new customers. Our existing customers of course we would grandfather very generously.” The comments followed a letter to shareholders that offered similar comments about protecting existing subscribers as it offers what would be pricier options for new members. However, Hastings and CFO David Wells write “we are in no rush to implement such new member plans and are still researching the best way to proceed.” That’s fair, but now that we’ve seen Sirius XM Radio (SIRI) introduce its second price hike in three years back in January and Amazon go through with a 25 percent increase to its Amazon Prime loyalty shopping membership plan, waiting may not be in Netflix’s best interest. Netflix Will Still Be a Deal The market knows that Netflix is testing new price points, and sometimes it’s better just to rip off the Band-Aid in one swift tug. The video buffs who subscribe may not like the move, but shareholders will love it. An increase that protects existing Netflix members should help retain existing users, but it would also encourage studios to offer newer movies and even more original TV shows like the acclaimed “House of Cards” since the smorgasbord would no longer be cheapening their content at $7.99 a month. Amazon, the leading online retailer, also telegraphed an increase during January’s earnings call: “With the increased cost of fuel and transportation as wel

  • [By Jake L’Ecuyer]

    Liberty Media (NASDAQ: LMCA) was also up, gaining 7.06 percent to $135.04 after the company dropped its bid to buy SiriusXM (NASDAQ: SIRI). The company will reclassify common stock to create two groups.

  • [By Paul Ausick]

    The most heavily traded Nasdaq stock today is Sirius XM Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: SIRI). Shares are up 2.37% at $3.44 in a 52-week range of $2.95 to $4.18. Liberty Media’s acquisition of the 48% of Sirius that Liberty does not already own was canceled this morning when Liberty announced that it would initiate a new tracking stock scheme. Sirius XM’s share volume was more than 4-times the daily average of around 67 million shares traded.

  • [By Jon C. Ogg]

    The Bank of America Merrill Lynch team, led by Jessica Reif Cohen, is reinstating Sirius XM Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: SIRI) with a Buy rating on the heels of the new Liberty Media strategy. What really stands out is that the Merrill Lynch team is looking for almost 50% upside.